SoS: September 1: Still frosty.

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Today is considered to be the first day of Spring in Australia, although technically speaking, real Spring doesn't begin until the equinox on 23rd September.  It seems, however, that Winter hasn't quite finished with us yet here, in the Central Tablelands of NSW.

We've had some rain, a good amount for us, and a cold front swept up from the south, bringing with it cold temperatures and frosty mornings.   The evidence is featured in my six this week.


One:  Frost crystals on a viola flower.  It never ceases to amaze me how these delicate little flowers can be bowed down by frost and yet after the sun rises, they lift their heads and carry on with their day as though it were the balmiest of weather.

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Two:  Frosty broccoli leaves.  I like the way dew drops have frozen into pearls along the edges of the leaves.  These plants have been in the ground for many weeks and I'm beginning to wonder if they'll ever have flowers.  It seems to me that by the time they do, it will be time for us to be eating salads!

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Three:  Erigeron glaucus 'Sea breeze', recently planted, so I'm glad it's holding its own during the cold weather.


Four:  Iris reticulata, also planted earlier this year, and these are the first flowers.  First is 'Dijit' and second No ID, which means the packet just said Iris reticulala.   I think these petite irises are delightful and look forward to them proliferating over the next few years. Clumps would be good.


Five:  The first two Narcissi to appear.  On the left, 'Replete' and on the right another No ID.   Many of my bulbs were planted last Autumn and are making their first appearance, so it's exciting to see their flowers. But there's no such thing as a host yet.  Thanks Mr Wordsworth for the burden of unrealistic expectations.

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Six: Someone else was finding the mornings cold this week, as he searched for seeds on our cream-coloured frost-bitten lawn.

That's my six for this week.  Was it cheating to add so many frosty photos?

As ever, our leader the Propagator, is hosting this very popular meme.  Don't forget to visit his blog to find out what other gardeners from all corners of the globe are doing in their gardens.

49 thoughts on “SoS: September 1: Still frosty.

  1. Your photos are lovely Jane and the plants look beautiful decked out with their icy edges. I really love the cheery bright colours of your daffodils! I was very surprised that you’d still be getting this level of frost.

    • Thanks Liz. Yes, we could get frosts for the next month, although it becomes less likely as the time goes on. One year we had frost in October, and it caused a lot of damage. Late frosts seem to happen more when we’re in drought. It’s all a lottery, really!

  2. Those picture are really lovely and that little iris reticulata really made me smile this morning! That frost, beautiful as it is, has reminded me that we are on the way downhill towards that now that September is here in the UK.

    • The irises are sweet and I hope they multiply like mad, June. We all seem to find cold weather a trial: I tend to think of it as something to be endured until the warm weather comes again.

    • The redeeming feature is that the days are usually sunny and pleasant after a frost…nothing like your winter days though, Pauline!

  3. Hi Jane 😊, love your viola with the icicles! It is such a lovely photo. How have you gone with your rain targets this year? I’m glad to hear you got some! Thank you for the kind words on my blog too.

    • Hi Nat, it’s amazing just what a closeup photo can reveal, isn’t it! We have had about 200mm less than our average rainfall so far this year, and now we’re told that an El Niño is probably on the way, so that isn’t good news. It was wonderful to receive some rain this week, and a reasonable amount too- enough to keep the garden going without watering.

    • Thank you! You’ve still got some lovely weather to enjoy, I’m sure, before the cold weather arrives. You must get a wonderful show of leaves in the Autumn.

  4. Brrr. That’s not what I think of when I think of Australia, especially the poor old Rosella scratching around on parched AND frosty grass. Tell him he’s welcome to come here.

    • It’s all right Jim, we put out some seeds! As our grass is horrible kikuyu, it always looks like that in the Winter: it doesn’t like frost, but it always bounces back in Spring. I don’t think anything can kill it.

  5. It is very poignant to see your garden emerging into spring while we are enjoying the last of the summer and trying not to think too much about the long dark nights ahead.

  6. I love frost rimed leaves, especially on the viola, but surprised that the Erigeron will survive such cold. I am hoping that our winter is less cruel than last year (well, strictly speaking this year – Feb and March) but I am still hopeful for a lovely September and I refuse to call this autumn until the equinox! I am just about to order some Iris ‘Dijit’ and the other one looks like ‘Katherine Hodgkin’

    • Thanks for the ID, Jude. I know you have the same Erigeron; mine seems to be coping quite well. I have the much more common E. karvinskianus, and it has been burnt, but when the frosts are over, I will cut it back and it will be as good as new.

  7. The frost is very pretty, at least if it leaves no harm behind. I couldn’t even begin to guess how long it’s been since I’ve seen frost – we’ve never had it in the 7+ years we’ve had our current place and I’ve only vague recollections of a couple of instances at our former place, where we spent almost 20 years. Despite your lingering cold snaps, it looks as though your beautiful bulbs are ready to herald spring. I hope you enjoy a warming trend soon.

    • Thank you, Kris. Yes we have it quite cold in the winter, and very hot and dry in the summer, so when I buy plants I have to take both of these factors into consideration. Hopefully, when my garden grows up a bit I’ll have a bit more shelter from the elements. Closer into town where there are more tall trees, I don’t think the frost is so damaging.

  8. Wonderful frosty photos! Reminds me of what might be soon to come. Our first day of autumn. As our days are shortening yours will be lengthening, and I will warm myself on your lovely posts.

    • There are a couple of upsides to frost here Gill: first it’s pretty, as you say, and second, it’s usually a beautiful day afterwards and often warm enough to be in a shirt when working in the garden.

  9. Goodness, it hasn’t been nearly that chilly here. Yesterday for our last day of winter it got up to 24 degrees! But it was very dusty, with lots of dry topsoil blowing up from NSW. 🙁 Your frosty photos are gorgeous.

    • Isn’t that strange. I thought you lived in the Blue Mountains, Carol! We saw a lot of topsoil blowing away when we were in Port Augusta SA. It’s very worrying. Glad you enjoyed the photos.

  10. We sent you the frost from Melbourne, Jane 🙂

    I love the effect the frost has on the Viola flower. Pretty magical to me. Hope the Eastern Rosella found something tasty among the grass. I’ve seen these birds up at my brother’s farm near his horse paddock, but not down here in the city, although that doesn’t mean to say they aren’t here in the green belt along the main rivers, or in the nature reserves.

    Fortunately the microclimate, which seems to exist on my balcony garden, doesn’t show any signs of frost except 1-2 leaves of my new Perennial Basil seedling.

    • Well, thanks, Vicki! It’s fascinating to see what can be done with a digital camera. Those small shards of ice would be all but invisible to the naked eye- well mine, anyway. I’ve put some seed out for the birds, so they should be all right, and there’s water in the garden for them as well.

  11. Gorgeous frost pictures Jane ! I’ve heard about the cold weather you have in Australia, and they’ve said that in some areas it’s a little (abnormally) lower than in previous years. Isn’it? or is it rather a wrong television news?

    • I think it is a bit lower, and that is because we are in drought, Fred. 100% of News South Wales is officially drought-stricken. But we always have frost here in the winter as we are inland and in the Tablelands, 500m above sea level.

  12. Your Six is the harbinger of frost to come. I figure I’ve got about 6 weeks till first frost, probably about the time you have your last frost. In the mean time it’s a sunny 23 or 24 degrees, the garden still needs watering, butbgernallry is beginning to look presentable. I do secretly look forward to the cutting back and tidy up that comes with winter, but it will have to wait!

    • Although we can occasionally have frosts into October, I’m hoping that I don’t have to put up with them for that long. I’m longing for the warm weather. I know exactly what you mean about cutting the garden back as I get sick of things looking bedraggled by about May and am ready to have a good tidy up. Then it looks drab until Spring arrives! Your temps sound perfect.

  13. Jane, it’s been an unusually cold winter here and we had many frosty nights, now days are getting warmer and plants are waking up, my garden hadn’t been so “still” since 2007 (coldest winter ever recorded here) I love the picture of the cute parakeet! there are parrots here too but they are not as colorful as that! Have a lovely weekend!

    • Finally the days are getting warmer, Marcelo, and we’ve had some rain! It’s so exciting to see the garden wake up. Glad you liked the Rosella: they’re quite common in this area but visit our garden only occasionally. You have a lovely weekend too, and happy gardening!

    • Thank you Chloris, I’m glad you enjoyed the photos, although the Rosella one is not great quality. They’re such lovely colourful birds I couldn’t resist adding it.

  14. Please pardon my very late commenting – it will take me awhile to catch up after my pause from blogging! I love your frost photos! I haven’t seen more than a hint of frost since I moved here, and I suspect it’s because the air is so dry since we do get down to (barely) freezing temperatures. Violas are marvelous things. 🙂 Reticulata irises sadly seem to need more chill than they get here. Your comment about the host of daffodils got me thinking: in my experience some varieties multiply MUCH better than others. Ice Follies heads the list of the ones I’ve grown, while the species poet’s narcissus also multiplied well. I could go on… 😉 Your photos are lovely – thanks for sharing some coolth!

    • Thank you for your long comment Amy. I’m glad you enjoyed the photos. We have had quite a cold winter because we are in drought and there’s been a lack of cloud cover. We had -7.5 C which caused a lot of damage, so I’m relishing warmer weather now and the advent of Spring. I’ve enjoyed the daffodils so much I plan to plant a lot more in the Autumn, so thank you for the Ice Follies suggestion. Poet’s Narcissus looks lovely…might be difficult to get here.

  15. I have that same admiration for violas – they just shake off any adversity, and move on… Deceptively tough, for sure, as illustrated in your beautiful photo. Loved the bird shot too – you have such interesting birds over there. Happy spring, to you, Jane!

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